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The Future of Cybersecurity Is Now in the Hands of Middle & High School Students

Cyber security not only affects businesses but anyone that is involved with exchanging information through the internet. Now a school located in the heart of the Virginia Beach, Virginia, has decided to do something about these attacks. The ... ... Read Transcript

In the 2007 film "Live Free Or Die Hard",

John Mcclane goes to war with a cyber terrorists bent on chaos.

FAA just issued a critical alert.

The entire network went down.

Transportation system is crashing

and they just hit the entire financial sector.

You have no idea who you're dealing with.

Fast forward.

Today we know this isn't just a movie plot.

Cyber war is reality.

And if you're a target, it could cost you thousands of dollars.

One of the latest weapons is something called ransomware.

It allows hackers to capture or lock

your information by using a virus,

and then hold it for ransom.

The only catch?

Sometimes victims pay the ransom and get their data back.

Sometimes they pay and get nothing.

This is something happens not just businesses,

but to individuals.

You have to consider not only the financial cost

to you of maybe paying out that ransom.

You're now going to have to go and change

all of those credit cards.

You may have difficulty obtaining positions

that require clearance.

You might have difficulty traveling abroad, maybe

buying a house.

There are some long term impacts to your information

being compromised.

And it could be a bit of a headache

to get all of that back.

Welcome to the advanced technology center.

This Virginia Beach initiative was designed with one goal--

to provide students with hands on education

in engineering and technology.

The program focuses on science, technology,

engineering, and math--

also known as STEM--

as a platform to recruit the next generation

of cyber defense.

Globally, there's a competitive need for us

to be on top of our A games.

And if we don't excite students early,

we're going to have some students missing the boat.

And I think it's imperative to get this out to as many schools

as we can.

That means elementary, middle, and high school.

One program last a whole year, culminating

in a cybersecurity challenge.

Students must identify and then stop potential cyber threats

from affecting the world.

So, cyber security is going to impact anybody who's exchanging

information over the internet.

So for us, that's what drives something

that begins at kindergarten and goes

all the way through secondary.

For the high school students, what is the challenge actually


They're actually defending a digital infrastructure.

They will do that by using the skills that they've

gained over the last year in networking, operating

systems, and basic computer science concepts.

Which include things like social engineering or reverse


Student teams work together to find and diffuse

possible threats.

Let's say they go into a particular image

and there's someone on this Employee List

that has privileges that are elevated that shouldn't be.

They can de-escalate those privileges.

Once they do that, provides them the ability

to gain some points with the built in scoring engine.

In addition to winning scholarships,

students earn another valuable tool--

real world experience.

This is their ability to kind of dig

into what is the industry of cyber security look like?

What is the potential for me, with this skill set,

to be employed at some point in the future?

Skills that we civilians caught up in the cyber war

will appreciate.

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